The Balancing Act
As complicated as building muscle is made out to be, a lot of it comes down to one simple balancing act:
To build muscle, you have to work out hard enough to spur the remodeling of tissue (you know, grow muscle), but not so hard that you exceed your ability to recover from the workout.
If in fact you fail to recover before the next workout, you're not going to make any progress. At worst, you'll regress.
I think this is the problem that eventually applies to every lifter. It also goes a long way in explaining the basic "hardgainer." These guys have training eyes that are too big for their plate, so to speak. They bust ass like few humans have ever done. They have extraordinary will and stamina. But their ability to recover is only human.
They work out so hard that the only time they gain an inch on recovery is when a relative dies and they're forced to take an afternoon off. The rest of the time they end up spinning their wheels, being stuck in neutral, getting relegated to muscle purgatory, or whatever phrase you want to use to describe lack of progress.
What's needed to spur the greatest gains, though, is to make it so recovery comes easy. When recovery comes easy, you can work out even harder – or take something that allows you to work out harder – and still make gains, and that's exactly what Surge® Workout Fuel does.
You drink it before a workout to load the body with compounds that prime it to do more work than is ordinarily possible. You drink it during a workout to replace electrolytes and glycogen stores so you can keep working out hard without crashing. And you continue drinking it for up to an hour post-workout to make damn sure you recover before the next workout.
There are three prongs to Surge® Workout Fuel's approach to increasing work capacity and facilitating recovery: the Anerobic Primer, the Hyperosmotic Glycogen Load, and the Superhydration Catalyst.
1. The Anaerobic Primer
The first of these prongs is what we call the "anaerobic primer." Biotest combined four powerhouse, performance-enhancing agents in Surge® Workout Fuel to do the following:
- Increase skeletal muscle protein synthesis.
- Increase ATP production.
- Combat muscle oxidation.
- Jumpstart the recovery process after training.
- Boost anaerobic and aerobic performance during exercise (e.g., allow you do to more reps and maintain strength, power, and endurance over an extended period of time).
The four ingredients are as follows, but rather than drone on for hours about what they do, I'll just give you a synopsis. (For those of you who want to dig deep, I've provided about a bajillion references at the end of this article.)
- Beta-Alainine – This current darling of the supplement world raises muscle carnosine concentrations by up to 58% in four weeks and 80% in ten weeks, thereby increasing the amount of work you can perform at high intensities.
- L-Leucine – If amino acids have a king, it's leucine because it's the key amino acid when it comes to muscle protein synthesis.
- Citrulline Malate – This compound consists of the amino acid citrulline and the organic salt malate. Together, they reduce lactic acid and ammonia buildup, increase nitric oxide production, and increase regeneration of ATP.
- Malic Acid – This dicarboxylic acid plays a role as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle and research has shown it to increase peak power, total work, body composition, and even growth hormone levels.
2. The Hyperosmotic Glycogen Load
Cyclic dextrin is a very cool "functional carbohydrate" that does the following things:
- It has very high solubility and low viscosity that enables it to pull substrate-loaded fluids into muscle cells. It also has a very short gastric emptying time so that the gut absorbs it really quickly.
- Its low osmotic pressure (in comparison to drinks that don't contain it) results in less gastrointestinal discomfort while exercising (or not exercising, for that matter).
- It elicits a small insulin surge, which promotes the transport of glucose and amino acids directly into muscle cells.
- Because of the preceding attributes, it increases endurance and reduces RPE, or "rate of perceived exertion" (meaning you can work hard without it feeling like you're working out hard).
3. The Super-Hydration Catalyst
Hydration is the simple act of replacing water in the body, but it's a lot more complicated when it comes to re-hydrating the body after physical work. After all, sweat isn't just water. When you lose it, you also lose electrolytes that carry the electrical impulses needed for muscle contractions and transmission of nerve impulses.
Now it's true that simple sports drinks like Gatorade contain a couple of electrolytes, but unless you're just playing JV football, you need something more. Surge® Workout Fuel contains all of the electrolytes needed for optimum human performance:
- Sodium choloride
- Sodium citrate
- Sodium phosphate dibasic
- Potassium bicarbonate
- Potassium phosphate dibasic
- Potassium succinate
- Calcium citrate
- Magnesium citrate tribasic
Together, these electrolytes do the following:
- Produce a hyperosmotic, super-hydrated working muscle.
- Accelerate rehydration, thereby preventing poor exercise performance and premature fatigue, along with muscle cramps.
- Provide the precise ratios of electrolytes to maintain or restore acid-base balance, blood pressure, nerve conduction, muscle function, glucose transport, and glucose storage.
First, you need to decide how long you plan on working out. If it's an hour or less, 1 scoop (45 grams) of Surge® Workout Fuel will suffice. If you're going to be doing a marathon training session of two hours, or if you're involved in a soccer game or some other activity that requires endurance, use two scoops (90 grams) of Surge® Workout Fuel.
If you've chosen to use 1 scoop, mix it in 20 ounces of water and start sipping it 15 minutes prior to training. Then continue to sip the remainder of the drink during the course of your workout and for up to an hour after your workout.
If you're workout is going to last longer than an hour, use two scoops and mix it in 40 ounces of water. That may seem like a lot of water, but it's necessary to produce the osmolality (amount of particles in solution) needed for optimum effectiveness.
Start sipping your drink 15 minutes before your workout and continue sipping the remainder of the liquid during the course of your long workout and up to an hour after your workout.
Most of the people who contributed to the development of Surge® Workout Fuel or who were one of our guinea pigs are kind of on the hardliner side of things.
For instance, Dr. Tim Ziegenfuss said that it's "overkill for those who aren't serious about training." Similarly, Christian Thibaudeau said that Surge® Workout Fuel isn't for guys "who do nothing but talk to treadmill bunnies between non-intensive sets."
I guess they're right, but I'm not that much of a hard ass about its use. I think that Surge® Workout Fuel can even help guys that aren't that serious because it's my guess that guys who aren't that serious got that way because they never saw much of anything in the way of results.
My thinking, maybe a little devious, is that if these alleged slackers used Surge® Workout Fuel and suddenly saw their performance improve dramatically, it would lead to increased enthusiasm and more intense workouts, thus necessitating the further use of Surge® Workout Fuel.
And it would of course reward hardgainers for their dedication and sweat, along with rewarding those who weren't initially hard gainers but became hard gainers because they've reached the limits of what they can do without a little help.
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